The U.S. Supreme Court has denied an attempt to stay the execution of Earl Forrest, apparently clearing the way for it to take place tonight as scheduled.

Earl Forrest (courtesy; Missouri Department of Corrections)

Earl Forrest (courtesy; Missouri Department of Corrections)

Forrest was convicted of, and sentenced to death for, the December 2002 murders of Dent County Chief Deputy Sheriff Joann Barnes, Harriett Smith and Michael Wells. Governor Nixon earlier today denied a request for clemency for Forrest.

An attorney for Forrest told Missourinet no additional legal attempts to halt the execution are expected.

Missouri has scheduled his execution for between 6 tonight and 5:59 tomorrow night at the state prison in Bonne Terre.

Forrest fatally shot Deputy Barnes when she came to his home after he had killed Smith and Wells. He also shot his then-girlfriend and then-Dent County Sheriff Bob Wofford, both of whom survived.

Forrest had gone to home of Smith to demand she keep her end of a deal in which he introduced her to a source of methamphetamine. He killed her and Wells at her home and killed Deputy Barnes in a shootout with law enforcement at his own home.

Forrest’s execution is the first scheduled since November, when Ernest Lee Johnson’s execution was stayed. The last person executed in Missouri was Roderick Nunley in September.